A doctor -- and distant family member -- of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is soliciting advice for handling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and passing the information to the 39-year-old investor, Politico reported. According to the report, Kurt Kloss, whose daughter is married to Kushner's brother, posted a message on a Facebook group page just before midnight Wednesday, asking other emergency room physicians for any information that could help fight COVID-19.
"I have direct channel to person now in charge at White House," Kloss wrote in the Facebook group EM Docs, which has almost 22,000 members from around the world.
In the group, which allegedly requires members to provide their credentials in order to join, Kloss claimed that Kushner had personally asked him for advice on how to deal with coronavirus.
"If you were in charge of federal response to the pandemic, what would your recommendation be," Kloss wrote, per The Independent. "Please only serious responses."
According to Politico, the Facebook campaign is a sign of just how much Trump's team is "scrambling for solutions" in the face of the outbreak.
"It is now expected to consume the final year of Trump's first term and threaten his campaign for a second term," the report reads.
The publication notes that Kushner's father-in-law, Donald Trump, appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the COVID-19 task force, but in recent days two people familiar with the situation claimed Kushner has allegedly taken on more of an "active role." Kushner has reportedly attended several recent coronavirus meetings alongside his father-in-law."He [Kushner] is also talking to people about whether Trump should declare an emergency, bringing in the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate and unleashing billions of dollars for struggling states," the Politico report claimed.
According to a White House official, Kushner is "involved" in the administration's response to the coronavirus -- but not "in charge" of research on the virus.
Kushner was previously tasked by Trump to handle Middle East relations. According to The Independent, Trump will later meet with Kushner to speak about his coronavirus findings, after which the president will make a decision about whether to declare a national emergency for the crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently labeled the coronavirus a pandemic. Despite this designation, Trump has been hesitant to raise the alarm and even recently suggested that "hundreds of thousands" of those infected could go to work and recover without serious medical intervention.